Does Wearing a Hat Cause Hair Loss – Myth?

Does wearing a hat cause hair loss

Since I’m living in a tropical country, I’m used to wear hats to cover against the bright sun. Many have told me that I’m going to go bald because of my habit of wearing a hat.

When I stepped into my early twenties I realized that my scalp is more visible to the outside and my hair seems thinner on top. So I did a little research to find out whether this happened due to the hats that I wear.

Does wearing a hat cause hair loss? Wearing hats will NOT cause hair loss directly. However if the inside of the hat is dirty and has bacteria, then it could lead to scalp irritations and infections which could cause hair loss. 

Let’s take a look at how hats can cause hair loss and how to prevent it?

How could wearing a hat cause hair loss

Wearing a hat which is dirty could cause scalp infections and wearing a poor quality hat in the hot climate for too long could weaken your hair roots by overheating the roots leading to hair breakage.

There are no solid research studies to prove that wearing a hat could cause hair loss. So is it just a myth?

Let’s not jump into any conclusion just yet. There are certain theories pointing that wearing hats could have an indirect impact on weakening your hair and damage the hair.

Although these theories are not proven by solid studies, the logic behind them would seem to be correct.

1. Scalp infections and dandruff

Bacteria and fungi can develop inside the hats due to the sweat and oil which gets accumulated from your head. Such bacteria and fungi can cause scalp infection when they touch the hair and the scalp.

Certain fungi can cause dandruff. Both dandruff and scalp infections could be itchy. The constant scratching to overcome this itch could damage the hair roots and cause premature hair breakage.

Further these conditions would make the scalp and the hair dry and also affect the nourishment received to the hair. Which also could weaken the hair and cause hair breakage.

So this is not a situation that occurs just because you wear a cap. It can occur due to dirty hats which are not clean.

2. Too much heat on the hair

This is another theory which is not clearly proven with research studies, but the logic would make sense.

Hats could be a good option to protect your hair from the harmful rays of the sun, especially during the summer.

Wearing a hat in the hot climate conditions could overheat the hair. This could be due to the poor design of the hat, low quality of the materials. Too much heat could weaken the hair roots which could cause hair breakage.

This situation would arise only if you wear a poorly designed hat made out of a material which prevents air from penetrating inside for a longer period of time in the hot weather.

Does wearing a hat make your hair grow slow

The growth rate of your hair is determined by various factors, such as genetics, nutrition, hair care, medication and drugs, mental and physical health status etc.[1]

Wearing a hat could reduce the air supply to your hair. However, air has no effect on hair growth, since air will not affect the nourishment of the hair follicles.

The nourishment for the hair comes from the healthy supply of blood into the follicles. Wearing a hat will not block the supply of blood to your hair follicles. Unless it is too tight all around the scalp.

Therefore wearing a hat would not affect the rate of your growth. However, be mindful not to wear hats which are too tight.

How to wear hats without losing hair

Hats are worn as a fashion by most of the individuals. If you are worried that you might be putting the health of your hair at risk by wearing a hat, then follow these instructions.

1. Now we know that a dirty hat can cause hair loss, make sure to keep the hats on rotation. Change what you wear every now and then.

When the hat is off the rotation, make sure to hand wash it, from normal tap water. Use an anti-bacterial cleaning agent like soap, which is good for the skin.

Make sure to change and clean the hats more often during the summer season, since the hats get more dirty due to sweat and body oil accumulation.


2. Do not wear hats that press your hair down too much. This can cause a condition called traction alopecia (hair loss caused due to friction). This can occur when you wear a hat that is too tight and remove it often in a manner which pulls the hair backward.

This kind of situation is very unlikely to occur. However, be mindful about it. Better be safe than being sorry.

3. When you pick a hat, make sure to choose a hat which does not overheat your hair. Pick a hat which is made of 100% natural fibers such as cotton, wool etc. This will allow the air to reach the scalp and keep it cool. Such hats will protect the scalp from the damage caused by the sun too.

If hats do not cause hair loss, then why does people wearing headgear go bald

Headgears can be too tight around the head which could cause traction alopecia, and reduce the blood flow to the head. Further headgears are difficult to clean which can increase the breeding of bacteria and fungi. 

Headgear is important for a person who is riding a two wheeler or for a sportsman in certain games. However, you might see that many people who wear headgear will have thin hair and go bald more quickly.

Why? It is because headgear is made to protect your head, so it will be made to be tight for the head. Which can cause traction alopecia (hair loss due to friction).

Friction may occur when the tight headgear presses your hair down hard. When you remove the headgear, it may pull your hair back hard. This could pull the hair apart from the roots.

When you remove the headgear, gently push the headgear upwards after disengaging the headgear lock. This will put relatively less pressure on hair roots than pulling the headgear backwards.

It is not easy to clean the inside of a headgear. Therefore more bacteria will develop inside the headgear. However, hand cleaning the headgear with an antibacterial agent every now and then can help against scalp infections.

These factors could lead to hair breakage among the people who wear headgears.

Why do I see hair strands inside my hat

We lose hair every day naturally as a result of the hair cycle. This hair which falls off naturally is what you may see inside the hat.

When a person removes the hat after wearing it, he may see several hair strands inside the hat. This has made many people think that hats are causing hair loss and they have quit wearing hats as a result.

However, this is not the case. We lose hair every day. According to the experts, around 50 to 100 hair strands fall every day. This occurs as a result of the hair cycle, where at the end of the cycle a few strands fall off every day giving its space for new hair to grow.

This hair will come off easily when the hair is vulnerable. This is the reason why you see a couple of hair strands on your pillowcase when you wake up every morning or see a couple of strands on the drain when you shower.

If you see that your hair is thinning out, receding hairline or even bald spots, then it is not due to your hat. It could be due to an underlying health condition. In such cases consult a certified dermatologist to seek help.

There are various other reasons which cause hair loss, check them from here.

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